Caraway, a femtech with plans to take on the societal and medical imperative of caring for college students by providing integrated mental, reproductive and physical healthcare has come out of stealth announcing a $10.5M seed round. The company was hatched through a partnership between 7wireVentures, OMERS Ventures, and veteran digital health leaders Lori Evans Bernstein and Joshua Tauber. The round was led by 7wireVentures and OMERS Ventures, with participation from Hopelab Ventures, as well as notable angel investors. The funding will be used to support the growing need for accessible, affordable and innovative healthcare solutions for women+ of all races, ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations.
Caraway prioritizes the needs and concerns of college women during a key developmental-age window. Its virtual care services are delivered 24/7, so women can get the care they need when they need it, and are set to launch in the fall of 2022.
“Many college students are in crisis, and for women, getting the care they need is increasingly challenging. It shouldn’t be this way,” said CEO and Co-founder Lori Evans Bernstein. “Our students go to college not only for an academic experience, but also to learn how to cope and flourish independently. Caraway combines an experienced clinical care team and passionate GenZers to support women+ in taking care of themselves in an increasingly complicated and hard to access healthcare system.”
On-campus college healthcare services do not meet the demand for the U.S. population of approximately 10 million college women. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an endemic of depression and anxiety, and a frightening escalation in suicide ideation, and suicide. A 2021 Healthy Minds Network study of college student mental health found that 34 percent of respondents had anxiety disorder and 41 percent reported depression. For students who have considered dropping out, a new report shows that 71% cited emotional stress as being a key factor.
“The need for robust health services for college women+ that provide high quality clinical care has intensified and has never been more clear,” said Caraway Chief Health Officer Dr. Cheryl Baggeroer. “We’ve known for a long time that physical health affects mental health and vice versa, and that the best care addresses these needs simultaneously. Now more than ever, we need healthcare solutions that uncover early diagnoses and set the course for lifelong healthcare habits and overall well being.”
“Today’s college women+ face far too many barriers in getting the care they need,” said 7wireVentures Managing Partner Lee Shapiro. “As the first generation to grow up with the internet, they’re turning to digital care services for an experience that provides convenience and autonomy over their health. Caraway’s integrated care team does just that and meets them where they are.”